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Pythian consultants assess Oracle big data, cloud strategies

In a video interview recorded at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco, Paul Vallee and Keith Millar, two executives from data systems consulting and managed services provider Pythian, discussed some of the highlights of the conference. In particular, they shared their take on two topics they followed closely at OpenWorld: the evolving Oracle big data strategy and additions to Oracle's cloud services offerings.

Vallee, Pythian's founder and CEO, noted that Oracle has had trouble mapping its non-commodity hardware and traditional software licensing model to the commodity-oriented, horizontal scale-out architecture typically used in big data deployments. "This is a challenge that Oracle has really not been able to solve," even as it developed a big data appliance, a NoSQL database and other big data technologies, Vallee said. However, he believes there is now an opportunity for Oracle to tell "a really interesting and credible story" involving the data transport and transformation layers and real-time streaming capabilities of big data systems.

Real-time technologies are gaining importance in big data environments, according to Vallee. And he said that the Oracle GoldenGate and Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) tools give Oracle a good chance to claim much of the data integration process in big data applications away from batch-oriented extract, transform and load (ETL) technologies without requiring the scale-out approach of Hadoop clusters. Together, they represent a valuable "puzzle piece" for the company to use in trying to expand adoption of Oracle big data products, Vallee added.

From Millar's perspective, one of the main takeaways from OpenWorld was Oracle's new cloud-centric message. The conference was "cloud, cloud, cloud, everywhere you turn," said Millar, Pythian's chief revenue officer. He explained that the Oracle cloud services strategy is focused on production workloads, bypassing development and test deployments -- the typical strength of cloud vendors. Millar described that move as "novel and bold" for Oracle, saying it appears to be betting that vendors like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft have already plowed the way and prepared the market for running production databases and applications in the cloud.

Watch the four-minute video to hear more of what Vallee and Millar had to say about Oracle's big data and cloud computing strategies.

Text by Monica Vallejo, editorial assistant. Email us at and follow us on Twitter: @SearchOracle.

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